UK wheat yields set new records this year, but fell short of estimates made by the country’s farmers union.
Provisional data from Defra, the UK farm ministry, pegged UK wheat yields at 8.8 tonnes per hectare.
This is the highest on record, up 2.8% from last year.
“Although some regions have faced delays, there have been no major weather incidents to hamper the harvest as a whole,” Defra said.
There have been no stand out issues relating to pest and disease, which may also contribute to the strong yields,” it added.
But thanks to a fall in planted are, UK wheat production was seen at 16.17m tonnes, down 2.6% from last year.
The planted area devoted to wheat was seen at 1.83m tonnes, down 5.3% from last year.
The total production figure come in slightly ahead of the 16.13m tonnes forecast last week, which came hedged around with disclaimers as the agency promised further “quality assurance checks”.
Clarity on numbers
The complete data sheds some light on the gap the opened that has up between production forecasts made by Defra and the National Union of Farmers.
Earlier this month the NFU, forecast UK wheat production at 16.68m tonnes, which would have been the country’s third biggest ever crop.
The NFU assessment included an estimate of a record yield of 9.1 tonnes per hectare.
“The high yields follow a favourable growing season, though are generally lower than those suggested by the NFU,” said Helen Plant, analyst at crop agency AHDB.
November feed wheat futures in London stood unchanged at £113 a tonne on Monday.
But after the first set of provisional figures were released, a major European commodity house suggested that the pace of production was less important than the pace of export.
“What effect has this had on the market? Virtually none because, whether we have produced 16.1m tonnes or 16.6m, the main issue is what is going to happen to the exportable surplus which is north of three million tonnes whichever figures you use.”
The commodity house suggested that net exports left a long way to go to draw down this surplus in production.
“In the first two months of the season, July and August, we actually imported more wheat than we exported.”
“Most trade predictions see no more than a million tonnes gone by Christmas which leaves a huge task for the New Year.”
(Source – http://www.agrimoney.com/news/uk-sees-record-wheat-yields.-but-smaller-than-hoped.–8916.html)